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Indian appointed USA Funds chief information officer

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Washington: An Indian-origin IT professional has been appointed as the chief information officer and senior vice president-operational support at USA Funds, a nonprofit corporation that offers aid to college students.

“Shital Patel brings to USA Funds extensive leadership experience in both the private sector and government, as well as significant expertise in aligning information technology capabilities with emerging business strategies,” USA Funds chief Bill Hansen said in a statement on Monday.

Patel will be responsible for all aspects of USA Funds’ information technology and services and will lead the exploration of emerging information service opportunities, issues and solutions for the Indianapolis-based nonprofit organisation.

“She will provide key leadership as USA Funds continues its transition toward becoming a national leader in promoting better outcomes for students in post-secondary education and in the workforce,” Hansen said.

Patel most recently managed enterprise sales for Microsoft in Indiana. Her previous experience includes service as chief information officer for the city of Indianapolis and as a managing director for Unisys Corp.

She is a graduate of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She serves on the board of directors of the Indiana Youth Institute.

USA Funds was founded in 1960 by a group of business leaders who were concerned about the rising cost of a college education. The corporation has served more than 22 million students and parents with more than $250 billion in financial aid for higher education.

 

(IANS)

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Microsoft Starts Selling Amazon’s Echo Devices

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs

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Microsoft
Microsoft stores start selling Amazon's Echo devices. Pixabay

Following its partnership with Amazon to integrate their two Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered assistants Alexa with Cortana, Microsoft has now started selling Amazon’s Echo devices in its retail stores.

Amazon’s Echo Dot and Echo devices are available online and in Microsoft Stores in the US, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality.

The software maker now appears to be pushing it towards more business-focused areas like chat bots rather than its original consumer-focused launch, the report added.

Microsoft has been increasingly focusing on its Amazon partnership and Alexa integration, it added.

Microsoft and Amazon had announced to integrate their virtual assistants last year.

Microsoft
Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality. Pixabay

The tech giants performed the first such integration between the two intelligent assistants at the “Build 2018” developers’ conference in May this year.

Megan Saunders, Microsoft Cortana General Manager, and Tom Taylor, Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President, showcased how Alexa and Cortana would work together in the near future.

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“For all of you developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa will enable access to more people across more devices. And we can’t wait to see what you build,” said Saunders.

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs.

The integration works with the command: “Alexa, open Cortana.” (IANS)